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National Grid cash call gets thumbs up

UTILITIES giant National Grid yesterday said it has secured a 94.2 per cent take-up for its £3.3bn rights issue, a staunch vote of confidence from investors despite the shock timing of the cash call.

National Grid had repeated assured shareholders that it had no need for fresh capital prior to announcing the two-for-five rights issue last month at a price of 335p.

The group said it needed the cash to replace ageing assets and undertake major UK infrastructure reinforcement works, particularly to cope with leaps in energy generation from renewable and alternative sources.

The bookrunners, Morgan Stanley, BoA Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank, yesterday placed the rights issue rump amid strong investor demand at a price of 500p per share.